IRONTON — Seven innings wasn’t enough to decide this contest between Ohio Valley Conference rivals Portsmouth and Ironton.
After playing to a 5-5 draw in the first seven innings, the Trojans scored a pair of runs to the Fighting Tigers’ one — edging host Ironton 7-6 in eight innings in OVC play at Burcham Field.
Portsmouth led Ironton 5-1 going into the bottom of the third thanks to early offensive production.
A two RBI single by junior Reade Pendleton scored junior Tyler Duncan and senior Daewin Spence, putting the Trojans ahead 2-0 in the first.
Senior Drew Roe singled in junior Amari Harmon in the second to give Portsmouth a 3-1 lead after the Fighting Tigers scored a run in the first.
An Ironton error on another Pendleton single plated two more in Spence and Pendleton himself rounded the bases on the ball in play with no outs in the third, giving Portsmouth a 5-1 lead.
Ironton scored the next four runs, tying things at 5-5 on a sacrifice fly by Moatz in the bottom of the sixth.
In the visiting eighth, Portsmouth re-took the lead when Duncan singled in sophomore Nathaniel Berry. Duncan scored in the next at-bat as Spence delivered an RBI ground out to score the second run of the half-inning.
A game ending strikeout by junior Vinnie Lonardo — who entered in the eighth in relief of the starter Spence — stranded the game-tying run at third and preserved the Portsmouth win.
Spence and Lonardo allowed just one earned run in eight combined innings on the hill. In 120 pitches, Spence allowed nine hits, struck out six, and issued one walk.
Portsmouth (13-2, 8-1 OVC) remains in first place with Gallia Academy (9-4, 7-1 OVC) in the OVC standings. The Trojans travel to Fairland on Friday and host the Blue Devils on Monday.
“Daewin battled through some throwing errors in the field, encouraged his teammates. Vinnie came in in the eighth once he hit his pitch count and was fresh, couple of big strikeouts in a tough situation from him. Those are the type of games that Portsmouth of a few years would have been on the other side of, lost one 6-5 up here last year just like that,” Portsmouth coach Aaron Duncan said. “It’s good to see our kids get over the hump, beat Ironton, and keep us in the running at the top of the league — it’s exciting for them.”
Portsmouth 2 1 2 0 0 0 0 2 — 7 12 3
Ironton 1 0 1 2 0 1 0 1 — 6 10 2
Drew Roe 2-5, RBI
Tyler Duncan 3-5, 2R, RBI
Daewin Spence 0-3, 2R, RBI, BB
Reade Pendleton 3-3, R, 2RBI, BB
Zac Roth 1-5
Vinnie Lonardo 1-4
Amari Harmon 1-4, R
Dariyonne Bryant 0-4
Nathaniel Berry 1-4, R
Daewin Spence (P) 7IP, 9H, 1ER, 1BB, 6K (W)
Vinnie Lonardo (I) 1IP, 1H, 0ER, 2K
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